The first Group 1 event of the year gets underway this Saturday as the running of this year’s L’Ormarins King’s Plate takes place at Kenilworth racecourse.
Race 3 – Rascova
Rascova offers great value in Race 3 on the card at Kenilworth. The 2-year-old filly was an impressive winner on debut over this course and distance at hefty odds. The form line has been franked from that start, and with the experience under her belt, she could be worth following once again.
Race 4 – Trompie
The first leg of what looks like a sizeable Pick 6 pool gets underway in Race 4. The top selection here is Trompie from the Vaughn Marshall yard. The 3-year-old colt is unbeaten in two starts over this course and distance and gets the services of Grant van Niekerk in the saddle. He over-raced when finishing behind We’re Jamming, but without excuses this time, he should return to winning ways.
Race 5 – Cartier Sceptre Stakes (Grade 2) – Princess Calla
The first of the Graded races start in Race 5 with Princess Calla expected to make it four wins in a row. She was ultra-impressive in her comeback run over 1000m, running home powerfully to beat a smart Group 2 field. The daughter of Flower Alley is the class in the race here and should make her presence felt.
Race 6 – Premier Trophy (Grade 2) – Airways Law
Airways Law needed his comeback run over this course and distance last time out and will be much fitter and better prepared. His turn of foot will be key in the crucial stages up the straight. Gareth Wright is back on board and knows this son of Legislate better than any jockey out there, being the pilot for all five of his career wins.
Race 7 – Cartier Paddock Stakes (Grade 1) – Captain’s Ransom
Horse of the year, Captain’s Ransom, is the obvious first choice in the Grade 1 Cartier Paddock Stakes. The 5-year-old mare stands out in a classy field here, winning 13 of her 16 starts. She’s also the defending champion of this race, beating Chansonette on the line last year. The Justin Snaith-trained mare won her comeback run impressively, drawing clear of her opposition. She’s much fitter now and should take a power of beating.
Race 8 – L’Ormarins King’s Plate (Grade 1) – Charles Dickens
The highly-sought of Charles Dickens takes to the track once more, this time against a multi-talented Group 1 winning field. He arrives unbeaten after 6 races and goes from strength to strength in each start. His biggest danger is Jet Dark, who is a two-time winner of this race and is proven as the best horse in the country over 1600m. Being the only 3-year-old in the race, the son of Trippi gets a weight advantage, carrying just 55kgs on his back. He has a wide draw once again, although his class should see him through.
Race 9 – Future Swing
Richard Fourie and Justin Snaith team up once more to lead Future Swing to another victory. The stable jockey jumps aboard, who rode him in his penultimate start, finishing just over a length behind the winner. He’s drawn badly at gate 11, but Fourie will do his best to get him tucked into the inside and keep him handy. The biggest dangers are the other Snaith runners, so it should say something that Fourie chose this horse to ride.
Race 10 – Chairman’s Cup (Grade 3) – One Way Traffic
It could be a great end to the day for the Richard Fourie and Justin Snaith combination with One Way Traffic tipped to close the meeting off. The 5-year-old gelding comes into this race perfectly prepped and stayed on well in a Grade 2 over 1800m last time out. The draw of barrier gate 15 shouldn’t be an issue over 2500m, where he finished runner-up in his only attempt over this course and distance.